I hate being manipulated.
I know…I know… to some degree, all humans manipulate to get the desires of our hearts (good or bad) but… some people are just waaaayyy better at it, you know what I mean?!
 
I think I can take it a little bit better if I know someone has my best interest at heart or if I understand the reason why they might be approaching a situation in a certain way. For example, as a parent, we might push, prod and even manipulate to a degree to get our children to do what we want them to do. In most cases, it will be so our children are protected against things that could bring them heartache or harm.
 
Are you following my train of thought? That’s probably an example of a decent motive but wrong approach.
Some people don’t intentionally set out trying to manipulate, it just happens. Others…well, they know exactly what they’re doing.
 
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and pondering how Satan is, in fact, the ultimate manipulator. He thrives in manipulating us in our emotions, in life circumstances and in our thought life. It’s where he does his best work.
It’s sickening really. How do we fall for his tactics so easily?!
 
I notice it in myself and in the lives of others. It literally takes seconds for something to happen and immediately, dark forces are whispering in our thoughts and using our past experiences to create heightened senses of jealousy, insecurity, anger, hurt, etc… At times, I stand back and observe situations and am always surprised at how skilled he is at manipulating situations and how quickly we respond to it.
 
He knows right where to hit. He knows where we struggle to remain objective.
He knows our weak spots. Do you know yours? Have you felt manipulated lately? Gaslighted? Isolated?
 
I found THIS ARTICLE helpful to recognize his ploys. It also includes ways we can be alert and fight back. We are not powerless but we do have to fight a different way.
 
[Remember] “…Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere…”
Ephesians 6:10-18 (NLT)